In last month’s blog (How to change – Part 1: The psychology of change) I discussed how change doesn’t really occur on a soul level. Your soul doesn’t change. What changes is how you see yourself, and then you act according to this new perception. This is why self-love is vital to changing patterns: you need to adjust your perception because you achieve in life what you feel you deserve on a deep unconscious level. In order to change this internal feeling you have to believe that you deserve better. Then you have to make sure that all your actions and thoughts reflect this love. When your actions are in accordance with self-love you will be able to transform your life. The question then arises: how do I begin to take these actions?
Often you try changing a behavior, for example, getting up early to do yoga before work. You know doing yoga before work is good for you; you know you feel better the rest of the day when you do it, but you just can’t get out of your comfortable bed when the alarm goes off.
How Do I Get Out Of Bed?
Firstly, you have to remind yourself – you are not your mind. Your thoughts are not you. Just because you have a thought doesn’t mean you need to listen to it. You already can do this. Think about all the times you wanted to just scream at someone, but didn’t. Your mind said, “tell them what an idiot they are being.” However, you didn’t listen to your mind and kept quiet. When your alarm goes off you can react by either entertaining thoughts of - 5 more minutes, tomorrow I will begin, etc. Or, you can get right up without thinking. You have done both and you know which one is easier. Don’t think - just get up! Thinking in this instance is not helpful or necessary. You think nonstop with no benefit. Remember your mind is your instrument. If you were a carpenter and the hammer was your instrument would you be swinging it when you were walking around not even close to a nail? This is what you do with your mind - you allow it to be going and going when it is not even necessary. You are swinging your hammer when you are not even close to a nail.
How To Realize Your Intentions
There are two important qualities necessary to realizing your intentions and enacting your free will: feeling safe and having a focused will.
The first quality necessary to changing patterns is having a strong foundation: to remove fear, to feel safe, and secure in this existence. You need to feel safe and have no fear to liberate yourself from habits, and to create new patterns of living. A strong foundation is vital. The only thing that prevents you from realizing your intentions is yourself. Nothing is difficult. Let me repeat – nothing is difficult! Things are challenging, but not difficult. The feeling of difficulty appears, when self-doubt arises. This self-doubt comes from fear. Fear that you are incapable of succeeding.
The second quality necessary to realizing your intentions is having a strong will: to be unshakable in the face of obstacles, to commit to your path. To successfully apply your will you need to dedicate yourself, to surrender yourself. This is different than striving, or using ambition to focus your will. When you dedicate yourself – you commit without desire. You surrender and dedicate yourself to the path without regard to outcome.
Committing is walking down the path and enjoying the walk – no matter what obstacles you encounter. Applying your will through ambition is an attachment; it is focusing on a destination, on an outcome. Which one are you going to be discouraged more easily from when obstacles appear? Will focused on the results because when obstacles arise, self-doubt will appear caused by fear of failure. You haven’t committed to the path – you chose a destination. You need a strong foundation, a connection with the path – a connection with your soul. Dedicate your will to the path!
Tools For Changing Patterns
Yoga is the best tool for changing patterns of behavior. Yoga is focused on the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Yoga stretches your body and corrects its alignment, making it more flexible. The more flexible your body is, the more flexible your mind will be. Changing patterns takes flexibility. Yoga aids this flexibility. Understanding patterns takes awareness and focus. Meditation trains this focus.
In Kundalini Yoga when we want to focus our will and feel safe on this planet we do kriyas that work on the Muladhara Chakra, and the Manipura Chakra. There are numerous Kundalini Yoga sets that emphasize these two chakras. Find one and master it, mastering your destiny.